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Immigrant Students

"Speech or Silence: Undocumented Students' Decision to Disclose or Disguise Their Citizenship Status in School"

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Elementary school students are often acutely aware of their immigration status—and it affects how and when they participate in school activities, finds a study in the American Educational Research Journal.

In the small-scale study, Rutgers University researcher Ariana Mangual Figueroa analyzed transcripts of classroom interactions and reviews of writing samples by 5th grade students at a New York City school where more than 90 percent of students are Latino and nearly half are classified as English-language learners. She also observed students from January through June 2014 in classrooms where social studies and social-emotional learning were taught.

Figueroa found immigrant students who had received their green cards were more likely to discuss their immigration experiences in class, even to the extent of telling the story of a border crossing. Students who remained—or whose family remained—undocumented were reluctant to discuss immigration in class, even if they were generally outspoken.

Vol. 36, Issue 25, Page 5

Published in Print: March 22, 2017, as Immigrant Students
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